New York University Presents: Show and Prove 2012

The Tensions, Contradictions, and Possibilities of Hip Hop Studies

March 30th - April 1, 2012

Themes:  Intersectionality & Methodology

Co-Sponsored by the Performance Studies Department at Tisch School of the Arts, the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs, LGBTQ Student Center, and the Hip-Hop Education Center

We are in a moment ripe with possibilities to think in concrete terms about what Hip Hop Studies is and what it means to do this work.  As a result of the 2010 Show & Prove Conference that brought scholars and practitioners to NYU, we continue to consider what is at stake as the academy’s increasing adoption of Hip Hop into its curriculum leads to a mutual adaptation.  Such stakes affect every aspect of our work, including the methods we use, the people we recognize and attempt to represent, and the audiences we engage—global and local, on-the-ground and in the academy.  Additionally, a challenge for Hip Hop scholars is to take seriously Hip Hop’s own creative, theoretical, and political imperatives while bringing critical perspectives to the very cultures we seek to understand.  Show and Prove 2012 (S&P 2012) provides an opportunity for a community of scholars to come together and address the challenges and possibilities of the field.

S&P 2012 will sharpen our focus on two key themes:  intersectionality and methodology.  On their own, they represent pressing categories of analysis within Hip Hop Studies, and shed light on often overlooked aspects of its cultures.  Taken together, they also inform each other in important ways.  For example, intersectionality can reveal the limitations of certain methods.  Conversely, while our methodological training masks its own intersections of power, non-traditional methods that are often necessary for research on Hip Hop can add to our understanding of intersectionality.  S&P 2012 is an opportunity to delve further into these areas and others in a collective effort to shape Hip Hop Studies.

Key questions include:

  • How can we utilize Hip Hop Studies to interrogate the changing cultural landscape?
  • How can Hip Hop Studies shape our understanding of intersectionality?
  • What kinds of gendered and sexual spaces does Hip Hop produce?
  • In what ways are subcultures within Hip Hop (i.e. Queer Hip-Hop, Christian Hip Hop, etc. (mis)recognized both inside and outside the academy?
  • How do Hip Hop feminism and Queer Hip Hop movements activate critical discourses?
  • What are the ethics of engaging Hip Hop communities across disciplines?
  • How can we be accountable to Hip Hop cultural imperatives?
  • What are best practices for implementing Hip Hop Studies?
  •  What are the possibilities for Hip Hop studies in the academy?

**Selected papers will be invited to participate in a writing workshop held during the conference.**

Please submit a 200 word abstract and relevant contact information by midnight EST, October 15, 2011.  Panel proposals will be considered.  We are also accepting short films (5-30 min.).  To submit a film, e-mail a 200-word synopsis and write “FILM SUBMISSION: Title of the Film” in the subject line.  If accepted, evidence of self-production or copyright must be supplied.  All submissions should be sent to  Contact Dr. Imani Kai Johnson at or Dr. Marcella Runell Hall at / 212-998-4350 with any questions.

Back to Show & Prove 2012